Sunday, June 13, 2021

summer switch

        I am hereby declaring that I love doing this weekly blog BUT, this summer, I am going to an EVERY OTHER WEEK schedule.  SO the next post will be June 27.  I did this change one other summer, and, as I told a friend, the world didn't stop then, and it won't this summer either.... There's just too much else going on -- or at least that's how it feels after the many, many months of lock down.  We now get to be cautious on the move....or in the garden. 

        Here are a few photos arising from recent times:


This is the first daylily to have bloomed, outside my door.  The view shows that daylily closing up for the day and for forever. I do absolutely nothing to take care of this patch. Yet, so far, every year, they return to excel again.


I made this photo in May, but I'm not sure where.  Usually I remember every photo and where I was at the time. If anyone viewing this post knows where I was, please let me know! Thanks!

This photo location is well known to me  -- it is across from my mailbox.  In the last two days, the tree has bent all the way over to the ground.  I wonder who will soon cut off the top now that there's no longer any need to get into the swamp to do the job.   

I went out in the world, to Lexington, on Saturday, and stopped by Melva's house en route to talk about some photos. Her welcoming cactus seemed very beautiful to me. I understand, however, it's extremely prickly and can easily cause pain. Melva has an all encompassing green thumb!

I treated myself to lunch at the Pho Saigon restaurant, in Lexington. The meal was fantastic, both beautful and delicious, and very few people were there. I am a fan of Vietnamese food, and I once had a ten day visit to the beautiful country itself.

    Then this morning, our Quaker Meeting  (in Lexington) had its first in-person gathering, with some of us remaining on Zoom.  I didn't know about this project the teens presented, but I thought it wonderful and couldn't resist a quick screen shot.  Everyone is still masked, so I don't know who anyone is, but thank you so much, thank you all, for this beautiful and joyful banner.

    I am going to add one last photo after I post this much, of the hay in my relatively small field. We may have a stretch of dry weather this week, so the tractor that comes to mow my neighhbor's field does mine as well. 

There's a second batch of phoebes in my carport.  The parents take turns sitting on the roof of my car, resting up, if bird parenting is anything like people parenting! The nest this time around looks to me like a large cupcake.

        PLEASE REMEMBER THAT I WILL RETURN AFTER TWO WEEKS, and I hope each one reading this has some laughs by then from something that happens and time to feel connected to those people important in our lives.  Ann






Sunday, June 6, 2021

Bonnie's flowers and family, later, after the burial

    I went by the house later, to photograph the flowers Bonnie's family had kept up with during her illness.  Bonnie loved her flowers, and her family, many of whom were still there. I have shown other flowers of hers other years, but this was now.  It will never be quite the same, so we can honor her in this way.


Bonnie's sister, who, I believe, did most of the flower keeping. She's on the porch, and I really like this photo of her.

    May we all enjoy the beauty of flowers and of each repeating season. I'm grateful so many people I know take such good care of the outside spaces they have.  I have a sister who knows all about plants and who has been sharing her knowlege of native plants for years. My other sister has invasives on her mind, and she plants trees when she is not chainsawing. I can not manage either of their obsessions, but I am glad, at least, I can take photos of gardens and woods.  Thank you, wildness.

     Three more photos:

            The first is one I had to try hard to make, but then I didn't do the work until now to get it off the camera and on to the blog.  I love my little pond, which, at the moment, seems loaded with red-winged blackbird activity after these dogwood blossoms came and went.

        Two weeks ago I promised another iPhone video, which I will indeed try for tonight. Again, if it's not there when you visit this blog, it will mean EITHER that I didn't get it to work OR it's still downloading.  Enjoy your family and friends. Don't believe the lies about who is our legal president. (It's Joe Biden.)  Thanks as always for visiting here. Be safe. And vaccinate!

                                                                    along Mauk Ridge

Sunday, May 30, 2021

book covers, more spring beauty, and Bonnie's passing

           First, finding the right image for a book cover, either a photo or a painting, can be the work of many minds. As an example, I have wanted to show the book cover that was once chosen for a reprint of Wendell Berry's poems,  Farming: a Handbook.  Wendell asked me if I had any photos that might work, and this was one of them.  The cover design, however, is done by the publisher, in this case Counterpoint Press. I thought it might be of interest here to see the original photo along side the cropped version.  The size of the book and its shape are all part of that design work. The photographer gets paid solely for the image and has to accept whatever design it's now part of.        

        The cover design person and I have our names in small print on the bottom of the back cover. I'm not complaining! It's an honor to be there. And I get to think about Wendell and that book the many times when I drive to town.



more curves in the land

siblings in the daisy field


Last Thursday I went to visit my very ill friend, Bonnie, who was at home, being cared for by family and friends.  I have shown the gravel road to her house in two of the recent blog posts.  She died there late this afternoon, with many of them able to be there with her.  I really appreciated the call to let me know.  I thought I would include here a few photos I took recently, although I'm sorry not to have any of the flowers she loved which her sister had been tending these many weeks for her. She was always an extremely hard worker who loved farming and keeping up the home place and more. And telling truths. I'm so grateful to have known her.



I was having a long quiet visit and conversation with Bonnie's sister while Bonnie rested. The strawberries came from the garden, and they were delicious.  I ate them slowly, one by one, while we talked.This will be a hard week. Bonnie had just turned 64. She's one of nine siblings.

some of her cattle: the greeters

note:  I have another video to share, but it is too late to add it now, so I will share it next week. I thank everyone who mentioned to me that they enjoyed the one from a week ago.  I will also hope to share some additional photos I've made over the years at Bonnie's.   Ann

Sunday, May 23, 2021

an ever changing neighborhood

          I think our long cool spring has transitioned directly to the full warmth of summer. Fields are ready for the first mowing, and there are a variety of farm procedures in action.  Last night I even followed the setting sun and made some photos with a camera with few frames left --- definitely not my best professional behavior.  Even so, I enjoyed being out and about making photos. However, these first three photos are ones I meant to include two weeks ago.

revisiting a mayapple patch along the road -- I then used the patch I found hiding in the woods to take the up close mayapple photos now that they were in bloom.  I didn't want anyone driving by to wonder what I was looking for -- or hiding -- under the foliage.....


one blossom per plant

         Yesterday I got adventurous and took a back road off of a back road, and it was a bit more precarious than I had expected, with lots of storm damage to navigate as well.  Thank goodness at least there was not any traffic, just several other cows along the bottom of the hill.

 steep flower bank on the other side of the road

last night's evening sky, along Route 504


And now let's see if I can load up a video of the same views, and watch how my phone did what it could for its last filming before it needed to be recharged.  As usual, I'm so used to working by myself that I forgot to add any voice over or words of wisdom.    Ah, life's sweet challenges....

I return here around 9 pm tonight, and, if the video hasn't reloaded yet, I will try a redo. In the meantime, I went for a short walk in the cool of the day, as the Jean Ritchie song says that sings those words....  with thanks to George Ella for recognizing what I was trying to convey with the quote.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Poetry and photo-trie, a connection

              I'm currently doing some thinking about my photos for a talented good friend whose book of poetry will be published within the year.  There might be one image that works for the cover of the book!  She grew on a working farm, so we agreed to start with some of my "hays and fields", which I have because they happen to fascinate me. So I thought I would share some of them on this week's blog, to kind of mimic seeing them in print.  (Summer's early mowing will start before we know it.)




an earlier version

made a few summers later, and at mid day, which doesn't always work this well


first of three -- this one has the outhouse and a tractor

This one is the cropped version of the following one.

The graves on the top of the hill show, if you know what they are.


Many of these photos have been on this blog before, but I have never before brought them all together. And there are more. It is wonderful for me to have an excuse to look at them, one after the other, most of them fairly near my home.  There's a reason why I never get bored driving to and from anywhere nearby. Enjoy. Be thankful for hard workers. And for poets who can do so much with words and insights. Here's to harvests all around.